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ALCS Game 2: Red Sox earn a dramatic 6-5 comeback victory to even series with the Tigers

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

Just like that, the Boston Red Sox have new life in the ALCS. The Red Sox pulled off a stunning 6-5 comeback victory Sunday night, evening their series with the Detroit Tigers at one game apiece. The Red Sox erased a 5-1 lead with an eighth-inning grand slam from David Ortiz and rendered useless an impressive outing from Detroit starter Max Scherzer.

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• David Ortiz put the Red Sox back in the game with one swing in the eighth inning. He smacked a two-out grand slam off Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit, tying the game 5-5. It was the fourth grand slam in Red Sox postseason history, and the first since 2007.

• Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave the Red Sox the walk-off win with a single in the ninth inning that scored Jonny Gomes.

• Gomes deserves credit too. He got the hit that led to the walk-off. He was helped around the bases, thanks to an error and then a wild pitch, but he was in position to score the winning run.

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• Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, striking out 13 and keeping the Red Sox offense largely under wraps for the second straight night. It was the third consecutive game in which a Tigers starting pitcher took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, following Anibal Sanchez in Game 1 of the ALCS and Justin Verlander in Game 5 of the ALDS.

• Alex Avila had two hits and three RBIs for the Tigers, including a two-run homer in the sixth inning that put the Red Sox ahead 5-0.

• Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit, who had one job — don't let Ortiz hit a grand slam. Benoit was put in a tough spot, but even a three-run double would have been better than what happened. The rest of the Tigers bullpen should be hanging their heads too.

• Rick Porcello worked the ninth for the Tigers. And by "worked" we mean he got worked. Porcello didn't get an out against the Red Sox. He let Gomes get on base AND let him advance to third base on a wild pitch.

• Clay Buchholz needed to bring his A-game matched up against Scherzer, and he looked good early, but things got really rough in the sixth inning. He allowed two homers and was pulled after 5 2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits, five runs and struck out six. Thanks to the Detroit bullpen, he ended up not being the biggest goat in this game.

• This ball-tossing fan.

• That was Ortiz's 15th postseason homer. It was also the third game-tying grand slam in postseason history.

• The Tigers taking no-hitters into the sixth inning in three consecutive playoff games is something that had never happened before.

• Prince Fielder's sixth-inning double off the Green Monster was his first postseason extra-base hit in 60 at-bats. Specifically, that dates back to Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS.

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• Have the Red Sox turned the momentum of the series? Some were already proclaiming them dead by the seventh inning of Game 2. Now, they're riding high into Game 3 in Detroit.

• Should Scherzer have stayed in? He had thrown 108 pitches, but the Tigers bullpen worked a lot on Saturday night and it had the seventh-highest bullpen ERA in baseball this season.

The series gets a day off to fly back to the Detroit, where these two teams will meet again at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Justin Verlander (14-12, 3.24 ERA) goes for the Tigers, John Lackey (11-13, 3.61 ERA) opposes him for the Red Sox. The game will air on Fox.

The postseason is upon us. Spend it with The Stew.
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